Last March this blog took an unexpected turn. For years I wrote about my life but failed to communicate how the things I experienced were applicable to you.
Then, one morning I listened to a Beth Moore devotional. I was so excited I wanted to shout it from the roof top. So, I wrote a blog post about it. In the process, I discovered that writing for you was more fulfilling than writing for me.
So, I kept doing it.
The more I wrote, the more time I spent digging into God’s Word. However, somewhere in the process, I got too big for my britches. I spent so many hours reading, thinking and writing about God’s Word that I stopped having a daily quiet time. I justified it by saying that I was spending more time in the Bible than ever.
God began to convict me. Everywhere I turned people were teaching about the need to have a daily quiet time. My reaction was not repentance.
It was quite the opposite.
I swelled up with pride and became judgmental. I looked down on people who claimed spiritual growth occurred in such an archaic way. I fed myself lies.
Devotions and quiet time aren’t even in the Scriptures. They are legalistic human constructs. If I am in a relationship with Christ, then I will want to be with him all day. Paul says “Pray without ceasing.” He doesn’t say “Pray for five minutes at five am.”
I thought about my relationship with John. I don’t talk to him or spend time with him on a prescribed schedule. I do these things all the time because I love him and can’t get enough of being in his presence.
Shouldn’t my relationship with Christ be the same?
Believing I had evolved to a higher plane in my relationship with Jesus, I quit having a quiet time.
The more days I went without a quiet time, the less I had to say about what God was doing in my life. The less I had to say, the less time I needed to spend studying God’s Word. My faith suffered. Fortunately, God kept prodding me.
In early December, I began thinking about my New Year’s resolutions. I did what I always do and included daily Bible reading on my list. However, I refused to call it a quiet time. Instead I referred to it as First Things First and decided to pair it with another lost habit- eating breakfast.
Eat breakfast. Read my Bible. I didn’t expect much, but God didn’t need much. He used that sliver of time and commitment and grew something beautiful and productive.
Scripture opened up like never before. Only this time I didn’t write about what I discovered. Rather, I reveled in my quiet time and allowed the lessons to develop fully within me.
My quiet time grew from five minutes to as long as I needed. My prayer life grew deeper. My faith grew stronger. On the hectic days when it would have been easier to skip my quiet time, I found myself doing what I had never done before- making time.
It is in hindsight and with humility that I realize what a fool I was to think I did not need a quiet time. The truth is I need Jesus in my life both purposefully and prescriptively.
According to statistics, I am not the only Christian who struggles to read the Bible on a daily basis. There are a hundred reasons why we struggle, and yet it only took three simple changes for me to turn my struggle into a success.
Three Steps to Make a Quiet Time a Daily Habit:
1. Put a hard copy of the Bible where you plan on reading it and leave it there.
Because I have my quiet time on the couch in our living room, I keep my Bible on our coffee table. This makes it the first thing I see in the morning. It forces me to make a choice. Do I pick it up or not?
*If you read the Bible on an app, make sure you see it every morning so that you are required to make choice.
2. Just read.
My quiet time is not for Bible study. I simply engage in God’s Word and open my heart to listen to what God has to say.
I often do not understand what I read. Sometimes, I am left unsettled and have more questions than answers, but day after day, as I consistently read, God begins to throw light on complex passages.
3. Commit to do it.
This may actually be the hardest step. We make and break commitments at the speed of light. This jades us. We look at our track record and cynically assume we won’t follow through.
This is wrong-headed!
Relationships take time. They take commitment. So, decide today that you are going to have a quiet time. Commit to the hard work of making it a daily habit.
Soon you will discover that spending time with God is as necessary a part of your day as brushing your teeth or eating breakfast. You will discover, as I have, that a quiet time isn’t just something you do. It is something you can not live without.
What about you? Do you have a daily quiet time? What works for you? What doesn’t? Leave a comment and share your story. I look forward to hearing from you.